Cape jasmine is a popular tropical evergreen shrub and perennial flower. It’s grown for its exquisite fragrances and attractive creamy-white flowers.
Gardenia jasminoides is from Africa’s subtropical regions, southern Asia, Australasia, and Oceania. It belongs to the Rubiaceae family.
The cape jasmine plant has a few common names, including:
- Crape jasmine
- False Jasmine
- Poor Man’s Gardenia
With so many familiar names, the correct pronunciation of the actual name is [gar-DEEN-ab jaz-min-OY-deez].
Gardenia Jasminoides Care
Size & Growth
Along with the single or double creamy-white flowers, cape jasmines have dark green foliage leaves. Some label them temperamental plants.
Gardenia jasminoides plants tend to grow on their root system. They can also be grafted to a hardier rootstock.
These grafted plants are usually more vigorous and have larger blooms than those that grow on their root system.
Typical cape jasmine will have compacted deep leaves that bloom between early spring and the summer.
It can also grow to about 5’ or 6’ feet tall, with a similar spread size. Cape jasmine’s highly fragrant blooms may be up to 4″ inches in diameter.
In warm climates, outdoor planting is best done in fall or spring. Cape jasmine survives the USDA hardiness zones 8 to 11.
It’s a winner of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
Attractive Flowers and Fragrant Flowers
Cape jasmine is usually grown for the sake of its remarkably scented white flowers. The plant is not just delicate and beautiful; it’s also among the most famous fragrances in the garden world.
Gardenia jasminoides has a uniquely scented creamy fragrance that’s usually made into oils or perfumes.
This plant has been cultivated worldwide, therefore making several cultivars and hence, scents available.
Light & Temperature
Gardenia jasminoides needs bright light to grow best. However, sunlight shouldn’t be direct. The direct sunlight of the summer in cooler regions can scorch the plant.
Position your plants somewhere they can receive direct morning sun but shielded from harsh afternoon sunlight. A little light shade they do appreciate!
The ideal temperature falls between 60° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid cold drafts if the temperature drops lower. A lower temperature can cause the flower buds to fall prematurely.
Cape jasmines also require humid air to survive. Consciously and consistently mist the leaves to maintain an adequate level of humidity.
Watering and Feeding
Gardenia jasminoides doesn’t require a lot of water. But, doesn’t like dry conditions. It needs consistent soil moisture, but not soggy soil. Rain can be a good source of irrigation. When grown as indoor container plants, you’ll need to water it at least twice a week.
You can also carry out drip irrigation; it’s a suitable method that reduces the possibility of a fungal raid on the plant because it keeps water away from the leaves.
For healthy plant growth fertilize at least twice a year – once during the growing season and the other during the dormant season. Gardenia jasminoides thrives better in acidic soils, so using an acid fertilizer to complement the feeding process ensures your plant’s growth.
Learn more about Gardenia Fertilizer
NOTE: Too much water in the soil can cause the soil pH to limit the available nutrients. The can lead to magnesium and/or iron deficiency. An iron deficiency shows up as yellowing leaves.
More on Yellow Leaves on Gardenia
Gardenia Soil Type & Transplanting
The best soil for cape jasmines is acidic and well-drained soil with a pH between 5 and 6. Test the soil pH before deciding to add fertilizer or not.
For indoor potting, mix a regular potting soil with plenty of peat moss until it’s slightly acidic – falling between 5 and 6 on the pH scale.
Transplant potted gardenia plants during the spring season.
Grooming and Maintenance
Prune the gardenia plants periodically, mostly when the plants have stopped blooming. Remove all sprawling branches and depleted blooms.
This way, you’ll be promoting more branching and creating space for healthier growth.
Propagate your plant when the need be.
How To Propagate Gardenia jasminoides
Stem cutting is the best way to propagate a Gardenias jasminoides, and it should be done in the early spring. Follow the procedure below;
- Take a 3- to 4-inch cutting of a stem tip from just below a leaf node.
- Dip the cut in rooting hormone, and then plant it in a mixture of potting mix and perlite.
- Preserve the moisture until roots begin to form. Then transplant it into several 3-inch pots.
Gardenia Jasminoides Pests or Diseases
Cape jasmine plants are very susceptible to pests and diseases.
Leaf spots are the most common fungal diseases that occur in these plants. To reduce this possibility, avoid overwatering your plant. Overwatering can also cause root rot and powdery mildew.
Pests that can infest this plant are mostly scale insects, aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, and mealybugs. Mealybugs and aphids can also cause sooty mold disease.